Which Weather to Watch

Which Weather to Watch?
Charlie Tank, Agronomy Sales, Plainview
(651) 558-6710
The countdown has begun-the days are numbered-it won’t be long until the planters are rolling!  Spring is right around the corner and as they say, “April showers bring May flowers”.  Many of our decisions in the spring revolve around the weather.  When will it rain next?  Is the forecast calling for drier conditions so I can get planting?  What are the daytime high and low temperatures going to be?  For many of us, we will be checking the weather multiple times a day in order to make informed decisions.  Have you ever noticed the vast differences from one weather report to the next?  No matter if the report is from radio, T.V. or the internet; it seems like there is always a discrepancy.  It begs the question, which weather should I watch?  A group called ForecastWatch spends all of its time answering this question. 

ForecastWatch has analyzed more than 142 million online forecasts from 2010 through 2016.  It labeled each forecast ‘accurate’ if the high and low temperature forecasts came within three degrees of the actual, and if the precipitation predictions came true.   The data was then sorted into three categories.  1-3 day forecasts, 3-5 day forecasts, and 6-9 day forecasts.

Below is the list of ‘accuracy’ winners for each category:

  • 1-3 Day Forecasts: The Weather Channel (winning in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016), Weather Underground (winning in 2014 and 2015) and MeteoGroup (winning in 2012)
  • 3-5 Day Forecasts: The Weather Channel (winning in 2010, 2011, 2015 tie, 2016), Weather Underground (2015 tie), and MeteoGroup (winning in 2012, 2013 and 2014)
  • 6-9 Day Forecasts: The Weather Channel (winning in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016), Foreca (winning in 2012 and 2014)

The results were very close in several instances, but The Weather Channel and Weather Underground were most often the top two from year to year.  Other groups measured included AccuWeather, Intellicast, Dark Sky, and World Weather Online. 

The data published by ForecastWatch proves that the law of diminishing returns holds true for weather forecasting.  The 1-3 day forecasts are the most accurate, with the best forecasters getting it right around 75% of the time.  The best 3-5 day forecasters are accurate 70% of the time and the best 6-9 day forecasters are accurate about 60% of the time.

Although Mother Nature is completely out of our control, if we can have a more accurate idea of what the forecast will be, we will be able to make more informed decisions and better manage our farming practices around the weather.  Next time you take a look at the forecast, consider checking The Weather Channel and Weather Underground and know that you have the most accurate prediction available.

Have a safe and prosperous 2017 and we thank you for your continued business!

To view the rest of the results that were compiled by ForecastWatch, visit the below website.

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